It was 1999. I was 10 and Star gold was introduced on TV. At that time, it used to do what it was meant to – showing Hindi classics from 50s and 60s that shaped Indian cinema and set the methods which are still followed. I used to watch it tirelessly after school hours till I was pushed to bed.
So they were showing Madhumati one day during ad-free matinee hours and as a child I immediately got captivated by the simplicity and easy presence of the actors on screen. Though I had watched Karma and Vidhata before but this was the film where I realized how good an actor Dilip kumar was. I watched it a dozen times in next few months and also covered his other classics like Devdas, Gunga Jamuna, Andaz, Naya Daur, Mughal e Azam, sunghursh, Shakti and Mashaal.
Though many of the above films happened due to vision of directors like Bimal Roy, B R Chopra, Yash Chopra, K Asif and H S Rawail but its not a coincidence that all of them chose Dilip kumar for their most ambitious or experimental projects. He was the most capable actor of his time with surprising depth and breadth and more surprising capability to use those qualities. He was the most convincing one in his roles. Be it commercial flicks or art films, he mastered every role he did. Specially his representation of rural Indian youth was exceptional.
From Amitabh bachchan to Shah rukh khan, many major Indian mainstream actors have accepted that their acting is inspired by Dilip sahab. Many of their roles use exact nuances or methods used by Dilip kumar. I often find his ways being followed by actors on TV. This is his everlasting impact on the industry that has made everlasting impact on our people. One of the most complete actors our nation has produced – Dilip Kumar, a star who inspired stars after him.